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AstraZeneca vaccine being tweaked to fight S. Africa variant

Photo courtesy of Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP

The lead researcher of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine says she expects to have a modified jab to cope with the South Africa coronavirus variant by the autumn.

Posted: Feb 7, 2021 9:41 AM
Updated: Feb 7, 2021 10:26 AM

LONDON (AP) — The lead researcher of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine says she expects to have a modified jab to cope with the South Africa coronavirus variant by the autumn. Health officials in Britain are trying to contain the spread of the variant first identified in South Africa, amid concerns that it is more contagious or resistant to existing vaccines. Sarah Gilbert, lead researcher for the Oxford team, told the BBC that “we have a version with the South African spike sequence in the works." Oxford University said Sunday that early data from a small study suggested that the current AstraZeneca vaccine offers “minimal protection” against mild disease caused by the South Africa variant.

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